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Kansas Has Fired Its Athletic Director

A general view of the Kansas Jayhawks basketball court.

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 24: A general view during the game between the Rider Broncs and the Kansas Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on November 24, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The University of Kansas announced some major athletic news this morning. The Jayhawks have decided to make a change in leadership.

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger has been fired. The Jayhawks announced the decision in a release from the university's chancellor, Douglas A. Girod.

From the release:

This morning I met with Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger and informed him that I am relieving him of his duties, effective immediately.

Sheahon has been a loyal Jayhawk, and our athletics department has improved in many areas under his leadership. But Athletics continues to face a number of challenges, and progress in key areas has been elusive. To achieve the level of success we need and expect, I have determined a change in leadership is necessary.

Sean Lester, our deputy athletics director, will serve as interim director. I have spoken with Sean about my expectations for the coming months, and I am confident he will provide sound leadership and stability during this transition.

I have begun the process of identifying a permanent athletics director. To lead this process, I have enlisted Drue Jennings, one of our most respected and accomplished alumni. Many of you know Drue as our interim athletics director in 2003 and for his role in leading the search processes that brought Chancellor Gray-Little and Coach Self to KU. Jed Hughes, a consultant with the Korn Ferry executive search firm, will assist Drue.

Kansas' basketball program has excelled lately, but the Jayhawks have struggled mightily on the football field.

The exact reason for the firing is unclear, but it would not be surprising if it mostly had to do with football results.

Kansas' football coach, David Beaty, is 3-33 in three seasons. Typically, a change in athletic director will eventually result in a change in head coach. The new AD often wants to make their own hire. We'll see if that ends up happening here.